THE CONCEPTS OF NAUSEA AND ABSURDITY REVISITED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC


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ÖZEN BAYKENT U.

PHILOSOPHIA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY, vol.23, no.2, pp.341-354, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.46992/pijp.23.2.a.6
  • Journal Name: PHILOSOPHIA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Scopus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Philosopher's Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.341-354
  • Keywords: Coronavirus, The Absurd, Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Plague, The Stranger, Nausea, Sartre, Freedom, Anxiety

Abstract

The year 2020 began with the world being controlled by a then unknown force. This unknown force would later be called a coronavirus or Covid-19. Not a single country would be free from infection by this virus. We are petrified with astonishment when confronted with this disease. Initially, after admitting the reality, we started struggling with and revolting against this virus. Time has led us to the consideration of our existence. This pandemic inclines us to revisit the major themes in existential philosophy discussed by Sartre in the Nausea and the philosophy of the absurd by Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus, The Plague, and The Stranger. The study addresses the concepts of anxiety, suffering, freedom, self-deception, absurdity, and choices. When confronted with the reality of the disease, we are shocked by an odd sensation like what Roquentin felt in his experience of nausea. This bizarre feeling brought an initial rejection, a self-deception followed by suffering, and a reflection of one's freedom. The concept of freedom leads us to certain decisions we make and the choices we are offered. The absurdity brought about by the pandemic is a reality that we must accept as it is. How would Sisyphus feel if he were living in the present? The struggle by Sisyphus can be our struggle now against a coronavirus. We feel condemned to roll a rock to the top of a mountain, a punishment that seems like 'futile and hopeless labor.' However, we are stronger than our rock. The paper presents a parallelism between our suffering during the pandemic and the sufferings of Sisyphus and Roquentin.